Before And After Fast Food Arrived In Easton

Prior to a Time When We Got Our Food Through a Window – And Today When it is Commonplace


I guess it is not a surprise to anyone that America is getting fatter.  It is all over the news – we have an obesity epidemic in this country.

Diabetes is on the rise as well.   Being fat and obesity go hand in hand.

Then again, just spend some time in public and you will avail yourself to all sorts of evidence that we are getting heavier. 

Of course, what is particularly sad in the U.S. is that there is readily available high-calorie and tasty cheap food that is just all and out bad for you.   Yet it is far more difficult to find healthy and nutritious food that is as cheap to purchase as $1.00 cheeseburgers and $1.00 fries.

So what demographic is getting hit particularly hard with the lure of fat, processed, salty, and cheap?  

Yep, you got it – the poor. 

Poverty sucks.  Believe it.

Being something of a libertarian, though, I am not so sure that an already too intrusive and overly protective government needs to become even more of a mother to us start banning foods with sugar and salt and fat.

I think New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is being overzealous with his plans to ban the sale in the city of soft drinks in single servings of more than 16 ounces.  

Having said that – I think that soda sweetened with either high fructose corn syrup or cane sugar should only be consumed very rarely – if at all.  

(By way of full disclosure – I write and update the Hilliards House of Candy blog.   There is nothing wrong with a little candy in one’s life; it can be good for the soul – and depending on the candy, maybe the body.  If you go to the blog you can find three separate posts – including the most recent post – about medical studies which suggest that consumption of some dark chocolate is good for you.   Also at the blog you can find a link to a video of Jeanne Calment – the French woman who reached the oldest authenticated human age, 122 years and 165 days, eating chocolate at the age of 112.   For a long stretch of her life, Ms. Calment ate up to two pounds of dark chocolate a week.)

So I got to thinking about growing up in Easton.  Again, I am a native of the community, and I was born in 1963.   The fast food started coming here when I was in high school.

Up until around 1980, if you wanted fast food, the closest place to go was along Belmont Street in Brockton.  There you could find a Burger Chef, a McDonald’s and a Burger King. 

When I was a kid if you wanted to sit down in Easton for a hamburger you went to the 400 Restaurant (approximately where now is at the intersection of Washington St./Rte 138 and Belmot St./Rte. 123) or Ing’s Kitchen (on Main St.) or or the Sub Corral (on Foundry Street/Rte. 123/Rte. 106), just west of Five Corners.  There were other places as well.   

Coffee and donuts back then?   Try Ing’s Kitchen (on Main Street) or Dip ’N Sip Donuts (in the plaza where now is located.   There might have been a Honey Dew Donuts in the plaza where today is  

You could get yourself a hamburger at the lunch counter at Fernandes Supermarket (located on the land where today sits Daley Plaza).   At the counter was also served a delicious grilled hot dog in a buttered roll.

Back then, donuts and coffee eaten out in Easton were attended with hearty breakfast food and equally hearty gossip and discussion of the news of the day.   Most of the coffee consumed was in a mug. 

Yeah, when I was a kid in the Shovel Town there was nowhere where you could get your food “through a window.”

Like I said, around 1980 the fast food started arriving.

First up was a McDonald’s on Washington Street/Rte. 138 – and for us Oliver Ames High School students, we thought modernity had finally arrived in our quaint hamlet. 

Now look where we are today.   Just like everywhere else.

We have a here, there, and everywhere. 

We have a . 

We had a – but that.   I’m not sure if it will reopen.

We have a

As for that McDonald’s – the fast food pioneer in Easton – it is no more.   Someone please explain to me how a McDonald’s located on a state highway goes out of business.  There must be an interesting story there. 

So now it is just too easy to go and grab ourselves some cheap and filling and tasty food that is not good for you. 

Some call this progress. 

But I have my doubts. 

Pat Maguire Parrie June 04, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Perhaps I wouldn't call it "FAST' food, but from the beginning of summer 1957 to the summer of 1963, I worked behind the fountain at Crane's/Abbott's pharmacies at the intersection of Lincoln/Center and Main Streets in Easton VILLAGE - except, of course, it was not then called anything quite so chichi as Easton Village. ;o) Sure sold hundreds of donuts, cups of coffee, 'cokes', frappes, ice creams, hamburgers, BLTs and more. Hardly any customers would have qualified as obese. Fun times - priceless experience!
Kristi June 04, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Mr. Muscato - I do believe you may enjoy a book that just launched from an Easton author called Little Changes..... you can find it at Paperback Junction and Langwater Farm. There is a section in it that touches on junk food... and many of the settings take place in Easton. ~ Sincerely, the author, Kristi Marsh
Scott Faust June 04, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Hey, Ross. How could you forget Dog 'N Suds, our very own drive-in hot dog stand at the corner of Washington & Belmont Street?
Brian Chapman June 05, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Dog N Suds was the first thing that popped in my head to. The Companion article should be what happed to the breakfast counters of Easton? Supposed to be the most important meal of the day
C. VanSwearingen June 05, 2012 at 12:05 PM
I graduated from OAHS in 1953. As I recall, the burgers at the Stoughton Diner were the chosen late evening fare.


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